You will be placed on protective isolation precautions to protect you from germs when you are admitted. A card telling visitors about the type of isolation will be placed on the door to your room. The door to your room must remain closed. All staff and visitors who go into your room must wear a mask, wash their hands, and put on gloves. The mask and gloves will be in a box near the sink. You may have visitors every day while you are in the hospital, but they cannot have a cold or any signs of illness. No more than two people should visit at any one time. Your visitors should not eat in your room or use your bathroom. These precautions are in place until you go home from the hospital.
It is not necessary to sterilize things before they are brought into your room. You may bring photos, frames, or a pillow from home to make the room more comfortable. However, space may be limited and you do not want to have clutter in the room. The nurse can help you choose things best suited for isolation.
You may wear a hospital gown, but if you prefer, you may wear your own nightclothes or casual clothing. You may also have stuffed animals that can be laundered and new packaged games. You may not have fresh flowers or plants.
Weight and Vital Signs
You will be weighed each day around 6am. Most weight changes during transplant hospitalization are due to fluid retention or loss. The inpatient team needs this information by the time they make rounds to make important treatment decisions. Your blood pressure, temperature, pulse, reparations, and blood oxygen level will be checked every four hours around-the-clock. No one likes being awakened at night, but these measurements are important. Any change may require a treatment change.
Exercise and Activity
Once isolation begins, you may not leave your room unless you are going for treatment. However, activity is very important. Get out of bed at least twice a day and try to walk in your room every day to maintain your muscle tone and strength. Sit up in a chair as often as possible.
Your nurse will assist you with your daily activities if you need help. You may bring a laptop, books, games, etc. to help occupy your time. If you are a student, bring your books and assignments to keep up with schoolwork.
Because chemotherapy and radiation therapy damage the lining of your stomach you may not feel well enough to eat anything during part of your hospital stay. To maintain your weight, you may need to receive nutrition through your IV. This is called TPN (total parenteral nutrition). The TPN mixture provides all the nutrients your body needs. Your progress will be checked daily, and changes will be made in the TPN mixture as needed.
Even if you are receiving TPN, you may try to eat and drink if your feel like it. Do not force yourself if you do not feel well. The dietitian and nurse will talk more with you about which foods are best when you are having treatments.
After your gastrointestinal tract heals, the dietitian can plan a diet for you. It will be based on the Low Microbial Diet booklet that will be given to you before your discharge. Your dietitian will review it with you. Well-cooked, easily digestible foods make eating easier. Do not share your food or drinks with anyone. You should not have any take-out foods while you are in the hospital unless they are cooked at home. Ask your nurse, dietician, or doctor about what kinds of foods your family and friends can bring you.
Mouth care is an important part of your care in which you can also participate. It must be done at least four times a day or more often if mouth sores appear. You can continue to brush your teeth with an ultra-soft toothbrush. Your nurse will show you how to do mouth care to help keep your mouth clean.